Canada's top ten weather stories of 2013
- 2013 - A Year in Review
- 1. Alberta's Flood of Floods
- 2. Toronto's Torrent
- 3. Bumper Crops in the West, So-So for the Rest
- 4. The Nightmare during Christmas
- 5. To Flood or Not to Flood?
- 6. Rebound in the Arctic Ocean and the Great Lakes
- 7. Wicked Winter Weather Wallops the East
- 8. Spring Flooding in Ontario’s Cottage Country
- 9. Prairie Winter Went on Forever
- 10. Stormy Seas and Maritime Tragedy
- Runner-up Stories
- Atlantic Regional Highlights
- Quebec - Regional Highlights
- Ontario - Regional Highlights
- Prairie Provinces - Regional Highlights
- British Columbia - Regional Highlights
- The North - Regional Highlights
British Columbia - Regional Highlights
- Foggy Spell
- Sunshine Missing
- Avalanche Weather
- Spring Flooding Threat
- Wettest September on Record
- Yukon Cold Makes B.C. White Gold
1. Foggy Spell
An upper ridge of warm air over the British Columbia coast trapped cool moist air at the surface creating a spell of foggy, misty weather between January 7 and 22. There were 18 fog days in January totalling 153 hours with visibilities below 10 km. A string of seven consecutive days with fog occurred between January 18 and 24.
2. Sunshine Missing
The winter months of December 2012 and January and February 2013 were not only unusually dreary in Victoria, they combined to produce the least-sunny trio of winter months on record. December had 32.3 hours of sun, January 56.7 hours and February 53.6 hours for a total of only 142.6 hours of bright winter sunshine – well below the seasonal average of 216 hours.
3. Avalanche Weather
Around the first day of spring under sunny skies, the Canadian Avalanche Centre raised the avalanche danger risk from moderate to considerable in the Rockies because warmer temperatures had weakened snow crust, resulting in easy-to-trigger slides. A month earlier, the avalanche risk in the Revelstoke area was said to be the worst in 20 years owing to frequent 2 cm/hr snowfalls.
4. Spring Flooding Threat
Lower Mainland residents were warned to be careful around the Fraser River, as waters rose rapidly from late snowmelt and heavy spring rains. British Columbia’s Forecast Centre issued a high streamflow advisory for the Fraser River, including Quesnel, Fraser Canyon, Hope and the Lower Mainland. Watches and advisories were also sent out for the Birkenhead River near Pemberton and for the Squamish and Lillooet rivers and tributary creeks. By May 13, the flood threat had grown all along the Fraser River. Recent heat and rain combined to cause a rapid snowmelt that swelled the river. Two waterfront parks in Prince George were closed because of high water levels.
5. Wettest September on Record
British Columbia’s wet season arrived early in 2013 with the province’s south coast experiencing heavy rain and winds on September 28 and 29. Persistent storms packed strong winds over 100 km/h, leaving 8,000 customers without power after falling trees downed power lines and cut services. BC Ferries cancelled several sailings in and out of Vancouver. Peak wind gusts at Estevan Point reached 122 km/h. Owing to the nasty end-of-the-month soakers, Metro Vancouver received near record amounts of rainfall. In total, Vancouver Airport got 144 mm, making it the third wettest in 77 years. In Victoria, a new September rainfall record of 119 mm was set. More than half that total − about 70 mm and four times the city’s average of 30 mm – fell in the last four days of the month. The Okanagan was also wet in September measuring in at the third wettest on record. Kelowna got 71 mm of rain when it usually only gets 33 mm and in the Kootenay region Castlegar recorded 91.4 mm, which is more than double its 43-mm average. Following the third-wettest September since 1936, the Lower Mainland recorded its sunniest October since 1991. Only 25.4 mm of rain fell in October (average is 113 mm).
6. Yukon Cold Makes B.C. White Gold
Arctic air from the Yukon in the -40°Cs pushed southwards into British Columbia between November 30 and early December leading to significant snowfalls over high mountain passes and valley locations. Snowfall totals included 61 cm at Kootenay Pass and 32 cm at the Coquihalla Summit, and around 20 cm at lower elevations in Cranbrook, Sparwood and Fort St. John. The frigid air helped ski resorts make snow or keep up natural snow on their slopes for an early December opening.
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